After jumping out to an impressive 5-2 start this season, the Las Vegas Raiders have lost five of their last six games to drop to 6-7 in the AFC West.
The team is coming off arguably their worst performance of the year against the Kansas City Chiefs, totaling just 290 yards in a 48-9 loss at Arrowhead Stadium.
Aside from their thrilling 36-33 overtime win against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, Las Vegas has scored no more than 16 points in a game since Week 9.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr believes the team can get back on track and salvage their season, but noted they must be more consistent as a unit, via Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk:
“[T]he main thing right now is that we’re too inconsistent,” Carr said. “The main thing is that we’re too much of this [up and down] instead of just doing the same thing right over and over again, and that’s as a whole. We’ve got to be better as a whole, and if we can be consistent, we’ve shown that we can put up a lot of points and put up a lot of yards against some really good teams.”
While it’s true that the Raiders have been inconsistent as of late, there are a couple of good reasons that could explain the team’s struggles.
In recent weeks, Las Vegas has been plagued by injuries on both sides of the ball, with tight end Darren Waller and linebacker Denzel Perryman among the key contributors currently sidelined.
While injuries are part of the game that every team has to deal with, the Raiders also have been hampered by several off-the-field incidents this year.
Former head coach Jon Gruden resigned in October after an email scandal came to light, and promising young wide receiver Henry Ruggs was released after being charged with a DUI that resulted in a fatal car accident.